Join us at 7pm on January 26th for an introduction to mentoring high school kids in our ACT-SO Program.
In this orientation, we’ll explain briefly how the ACT-SO program works, cover the requirements, responsibilities, and rewards of mentoring African-American high school students, and answer your questions. This event is for folks who are already signed up and/or who are just interested.
Councilmember LaCava City Administration Building 202 C Street San Diego, CA 92101
Council President Campbell City Administration Building 202 C Street San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Whitburn City Administration Building 202 C Street San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Montgomery Steppe City Administration Building 202 C Street San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Von Wilpert City Administration Building 202 C Street San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Cate City Administration Building 202 C Street San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Campillo City Administration Building 202 C Street San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Moreno City Administration Building 202 C Street San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Elo-Rivera City Administration Building 202 C Street San Diego, CA 92101
Mayor Todd Gloria City Administration Building 202 C Street San Diego, CA 92101
Dear Mayor and Members of the San Diego City Council,
In light of the insurrection at our Nation’s Capitol, it should be clear to all that the words and symbols of the alt-right and white supremacists are not merely empty threats and crackpot grumbling. Instead, they are clearly an indicator of violence and hate-crime waiting to happen.
And yet, the symbols embraced by this movement are tolerated, and in some cases explicitly endorsed and permitted, by San Diego Fire-Rescue on equipment and at firehouses.
The following symbols and displays have been reported to us as present in firehouses and on equipment:
Thin Blue Line/Blue Lives Matter Flag
While we understand that the ostensible purpose of this symbol is to honor the risk and sacrifice of peace officers in the line of duty, it has been taken up by white supremacists and is thus tainted. While we also honor our peace officers for the risk they willingly take, this flag has always been a poor choice of symbol. Its underlying message is not one of unity, but of division; peace officers as a “thin blue line” protecting “us” from “them.” We can see from the different treatment of the insurrectionists and Black Lives Matter protestors who are most often perceived as “us” and “them.”
In a move with which we disagree, this symbol was explicitly permitted by the department, albeit as a temporary measure only. It has remained on display long past the permitted time, and needs to be removed.
The Gadsen Flag
The yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flag (known as the “Gadsen Flag”) is a popular symbol of the far-right and white supremacist forces that attacked the Capitol. It should not be permitted on equipment or in firehouses, and yet we have evidence of its presence on equipment.
A Cornucopia of Racist Images
Beside the two symbols, numerous racist images are permitted in firehouses. Black men and women are depicted as:
Ridiculous (not to mention the ableism and sexism on display)
[Not all images shown; more available on request.]
Such offensive images of persons of any race are best kept out of firehouses altogether. When a population that is overwhelmingly white uses offensive images that are overwhelmingly black, the message is clear.
This is all the more troubling since a firehouse is a place where people both live and work, in close contact for long periods of time. A hostile firehouse is not only a hostile work environment, but it is a hostile living environment. This takes a psychic toll on every firefighter who is not white and male.
This psychic toll only increases when management dismisses the concerns of whistleblowers. Responses such as “we don’t get involved in disputes between employees” are extremely damaging. This damage is increased when such whistleblowers, whether they make informal complaints or formal ones through EEIO, receive immediate backlash from their co-workers (a sign, perhaps, of management collusion) and lack of opportunity within the department.
We have previously written to you about addressing the situation at Fire-Rescue. The culture at Fire-Rescue is not a matter that can wait. We request you work immediately with the leadership of Fire-Rescue to show bolder leadership and implement policies and procedures to address the toxicity in the departmental culture.
Francine Maxwell, President NAACP San Diego Branch
Longstanding racial inequities in the housing market, along with widening income disparity and the economic meltdown caused by COVID-19 have made many or our friends and neighbors wondering if they’ll be evicted.
State and Federal eviction moratoriums are set to expire soon, and when all that back rent is suddenly due, many people will be at risk of losing their homes.
Meanwhile, local, State and Federal agencies are looking at extending and improving protections for renters and compensating small landlords.
Join us to hear from agencies on the front line of this crisis about how you can help your community avoid evictions. Find out about where to go for what kind of help, and where to find the latest information about changes in the law.
Please join us at 6 pm on January 28th for an important and timely discussion of the PERT program with its Director, Dr. Marvin.
In 1996, PERT (Psychiatric Emergency Response Team) program was established in San Diego county. In fiscal year 2019-2020:
PERT Clinicians (Law Enforcement and EMS combined) conducted 35,701 contacts in the community.
PERT provided 12,340 Crisis Interventions (of which 5,750 or 47% were diverted from a 5150 hospital transport for other community resources) and 23,361 Community Service interventions.
PERT Clinicians provided 9,413 crisis intervention services to persons identifying as being homeless.
PERT attempted crisis resolution contact, but was unable to do so (e.g., person could not be located or declined to interact) an additional 7,695 occasions (thus, a total of 20,035 Crisis Interventions were attempted).
Mark Marvin, Ph.D. (Vice President of Community Research Foundation, PERT Division – Director) and Wes Albers (PERT Community & Law Enforcement Liaison) will address an overview of PERT including its history, the role of the PERT unit, and training provided to first responders.